Robert Bowlin started at age 1 and a half playing the ukelele, graduated to his dad's guitar at age 5, and has been creating unique and beautiful guitar music ever since. He won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS in 1979 and got 2nd in the Flatpicking Guitar Contest in 1978. His professional career has included stints with artists such as Maura O' Connell, Kathy Mattea, Tom T. Hall, the Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe, Ray Price, Bobby Bare, Faron Young, Ricky Van Shelton.
He was a session guitarist and fiddler in Nashville for countless recordings. He has played onstage with artists such as BB King and Ricky Scaggs, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and Vassar Clements. He has performed his original music on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
He has a new cd of solo guitar instrumentals entitled "Six String Soliloquy". Here is what experts have to say:
"This recording is wonderful! It's mostly original instrumentals, a few traditional tunes and a Stephen Foster medley.Robert has a real gift for melody. You hear the original tunes and you feel like you've heard them before (but you haven't). When he plays a standard, like "Whisky Before Breakfast," he really makes it his own. His solo style doesn't sound like anyone elses. Robert blends Bluegrass, Jazz and other influences in a way that sounds natural and unforced. I would describe his phrasing as vocal. Many guitarists sound mechanical. He's just the opposite, milking every phrase for maximum feeling. And the tone he gets out of his 1930 Larson is just beautiful. He's not afraid of space and never adds unecessary notes that get in the way of hearing the melody. There are lots of guitarists these days who have great technique and can generate excitement with hot picking. Robert can certainly do the same. But there are few who work with the full range of emotion that is possible in music. These are medium and slow paced solos intended to move the listener. Though they'll appeal to any guitar playing person with an ear, they'll also appeal to others who don't care what kind of guitar he plays or whether or not he uses a custom made bevelled pick. Do you have a spouse who's tired of hearing your flatpicking CDs? Get this one and you'll both enjoy it!This is really one of the finest guitar recordings I've heard in years. It's only fault is that it's too short. I could listen to Roberts picking all day."
- Dan Mozell
"His playing is really incredible - tasteful,passionate, and unique. He is a virtuoso flatpicker who is well-versed inmany styles. It's incredible that he's known primarily as a fiddler, havingbeen Monroe's "last" fiddle player.I recently judged him in a contest (Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro,TN - www.uncledavemacondays.com), and he played an absolutely jaw-dropping"Waltz for Django" on that old Larson. Tone from now on!"
- Boge Quinn